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Grow your community with a challenge

Mar 08, 20224 minute read

How to build communities with and around challenges

As we shared in the first post of the series, the Challenge is a powerful mechanism to tackle the problems of today's noisy social media environment and engage with your audience in meaningful new ways.

Now, let's go deeper and talk about a specific use case for your business: How can you actually leverage the Challenge grow your community?

What is community?

First things first. Let's define the difference between your social media accounts such as Instagram or Twitter and and your community – there's often the misconception that they are one and the same.

Traditional social media is your broadcast channel whereas community is your engagement channel. Therefore, community doesn't replace your social media activities, so much as it serves as a powerful complement: allowing for more valuable conversations, relationship building, and meaningful interaction among your audience.  

We've established that vibrant communities are essential to fostering positive connections and meaningful interaction with your business. So, how can you successfully create that sort of community?

Problem: 85% of all communities fail within 6 weeks of their launch

The first step towards building an online community that attracts, involves, and keeps people engaged is to understand what actually drives people to connect with each other. This question is often an afterthought. Failing to consider this question is also the main reason why many communities fail. A study by Gartner reveals this stark fact: 85% of all branded communities see zero engagement after 6 weeks of launch. Ouch!

Why does this happen? Well, it is not sufficient to bring a large number of people together in one place and hope they will start magically building relationships. Those communities might start strong as people meet and chat initially, but those interactions will eventually vanish into oblivion as soons as the novelty wears off and there's no real incentive to come back.

The missing incentive to return often stems from a lack of purpose in most communities, making for low engagement and uninspiring discussions. People are already overloaded with all their social media channels, so there's no reason to stay engaged with something that doesn't provide real additional value.

Solution: Challenges

The core idea of the Challenge is to give a community purpose through shared direction towards a specific outcome. Therefore, the Challenge makes for the ideal vehicle to build purposeful, engaged communities.

For example, in a 10 Day Better Sleep Challenge, you teach practical insights in improving someones sleep and provide actionable steps. Within this challenge, endless fascinating community discussions will naturally emerge. Participants can connect over questions and concerns around individual sleep patterns (night owl vs morning lark) or how alcohol and caffeine is affecting sleep.

The Challenge serves as both the ice breaker and the glue of the community. It provides a sense of purpose by design, so it's packed with natural opportunities to engage with highly valuable conversations that allow your community to take shape without much moderation and supervision.

Integrated community versus on-ramp to community

The Framework platform supports two core options of building and growing your community with a Challenge (and there's even the possibility of combining them to give you maximum flexibility).

Option A is integrating your community into the challenge itself through using Framework's community and social features.

Option B is inviting people to join your community (hosted on different platform than Framework) at the end of the challenge.

Let's go deeper into each of these two options.

Challenge with an integrated community

When you create your Challenge on Framework, you can foster community through setting up social spaces that you build into the Challenge experience.

On Framework, you can create community spaces around specific topics, so people can share their learnings and get feedback from other Challenge participants. For example, in these spaces, people can share why they joined the Challenge and what they hope to accomplish by the end--unleashing a natural accountability system, which leads to both better outcomes and a more vibrant community experience.

The beauty of a Challenge on Framework is that the community aspect is optional and secondary to the actual learning journey. Some might opt-out of community and focus just on the Challenge – and that's okay. Give people the option, as those who opt-in are much more willing to engage and join the conversations.

Challenge as an on-ramp to community

You may have already built your community on another platform and want to use Framework just to run your Challenge as an on-ramp. That's no problem at all. Customers are much more likely to take an action after having gone through a Challenge, because they have built trust and commitment with you and your brand through that Challenge journey. In this way, the Challenge is the perfect vehicle to to drive people into your community and leverage the "upsell" at the end.

For example, you might have a paid membership community and want to get more people joining this community. Of course, you can just promote and sell it hoping people will recognize the value and start paying for it. On the other hand, you can use a Challenge to funnel people to this membership community. The probability will be significantly higher, as conversion rates are typically 20% and more if you present another product or service at the end of your Challenge.

Again, those two options are not mutually exclusive, as you can still use social features of Framework during the Challenge, while also driving people join your off-platform community at the end of Challenge.

What's next

In the next post of this series, we will discuss how to change behaviors with a Challenge. If you’re interested in learning more about Framework, please sign up for a free trial or book a demo with one of our product specialists who can walk you through the product and answer any of your questions.

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